Earlier this year, when the pandemic made us shut ourselves away in our homes, there was a hope (and, well, wishful thinking) that it would all wash over in a few months. Evidently that was too optimistic, and is very much not the case. It sucks for many reasons, but one that's been on my mind over the last few days is that I won't get to celebrate Halloween in-person with my pals.
But it's kind of okay, because games like Overwatch with their silly Halloween events almost provide a sense of normality amongst it all.
I'm gutted when I think of all the excellent party themes that have been swiped from under us! Dressing up as hot Greek gods from Hades, or donning colourful spacesuits for an Among Us-style murder mystery.
Sure, I'll get some pumpkin carving in, and yeah I'll watch some scary films. But most years these activities take place while I'm dressed in dumb costumes with friends. And you can tell me to have a Zoom party all you like, but we all know it's not quite the same.
One thing that is the same, though, is Overwatch's Halloween Terror event. Every year we get a buttload of new spooky cosmetics and the same Halloween brawl. It's never been that big or that special, but this year it feels more so. I spent my evening last night fighting the game's onslaught of zombie robots (with new special challenges, ooOOooh), and it's one of the first holiday celebration things I've done this year that felt sorta normal.
I may not get to celebrate Halloween in-person with my pals this year, but am I ever thankful that this dumb hero shooter has given me the opportunity to celebrate my favourite event just like it always does.
It's not just Overwatch either. Other Halloween-lovers amongst you might be getting stuck into Destiny 2's Festival Of The Lost, or perhaps eagerly waiting for whatever spookfest Apex Legends has in store. Perhaps it's a silly thing to think about, but I hope these events give you as much comfort as they do me. The world might be a mess right now, but at least can celebrate a bit of Halloween nonsense in our video games.